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Second Corinthians 4:8,9 says, "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed." A lot of people read it like this: "We are troubled, we are perplexed, we are persecuted, we are cast down—oh, woe is us."

That's not what Paul said. He always leaves it on a note of victory!

The Apostle Paul says in one translation, I might get knocked down, but you're never going to knock me out! There's a difference in being knocked down and knocked out. I've been knocked down a few times, but it's the most natural thing in the world when you fall to GET UP!

Jesus said very clearly that Satan comes immediately to steal the Word. How? Through affliction, persecution, the cares of this world, the lust of other things, and the deceitfulness of riches. What is the devil trying to steal from us? THE WORD.

Why is it so important for the devil to steal the Word? God's Word produces JOY in our hearts. When we read the Word and realize that it's God's will for us to prosper and be in health, that produces JOY on the inside of us.

Nehemiah 8:10 says, The JOY of the Lord is your STRENGTH. Satan is after your joy. He especially likes to use the "little things" to steal our joy, such as: your car won't start, your hair isn't looking right, a husband and wife start fussing... The devil knows that if he can get your joy, even over something "little," he can steal your strength. If you have no strength, you can't resist the devil. If you can't resist the devil, he won't flee.

Did you know that the number one way he tries to get the Word out of you is through stealing some material thing from you? He can't just reach in and get your joy out of your heart. He has to work in this "material realm" to try to get something spiritual out of you. Joy is a spiritual force.

Hebrews 10:34 says, For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods. The Lord showed me this Scripture one night, and I began to really notice what it was saying. Then the Lord said to me, "Son, if the devil can't steal your joy, he can't keep your goods."

Have you ever had the devil steal something from you? Do you know that it was the devil who stole your car, your money, or whatever it was? God is not saying to lift your hands and praise the Lord because something was stolen from you. He is saying that you must maintain your joy. Don't let the devil get your joy.

When you know the devil has stolen something from you, it is very easy to get discouraged and allow your joy to depart from you. Right at that moment, when you don't have any joy, you have no resistance to the attack. But, it doesn't have to be that way. If he can't get your joy, HE CAN'T KEEP WHAT HE STOLE FROM YOU!

Do you want it back? Jeremiah 33:11 says, The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, and the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, and the voice of them that shall say, praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for His mercy endureth forever; and of them that shall bring the SACRIFICE OF PRAISE into the house of the Lord. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the Lord.

When would praise be a sacrifice? When you don't feel like it! When the devil has just attacked you! But God is saying, if you'll maintain joy no matter what the devil brings against you, I'll return your goods! Praise God!

And it even gets better than that! Proverbs 6:31 says, But if the thief be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house. God is saying, "I'll not only get it back to you, I'll make him pay it back seven times!" That is, if we don't let the devil get our joy.

So, I encourage you, don't let the devil defeat you by stealing your joy. Remember, that when you have no joy, you have no strength, and that's when Satan can come in and rob you of everything you have. Satan has no refuge when JOY is present. THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH!

Today's Scripture: Nehemiah 8:10

Source: Faith Building Daily Devotionals by Jerry Savelle
Excerpt permission granted by Jerry Savelle Ministries International

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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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